1988 Convertible for sunny day drives

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Hello all.

I retired earlier this year from the military. RCAF, Search and Rescue. This was me:

fr_677_size880.jpg


That's me in the open door. That's from about ten years ago, we were landing at a friend's cottage near Bouctouche, NB for lunch.

But 29 years of that was enough. It's a young man's game and of the many things I may be, "young" is no longer one of them. I finally got so busted up (physically and entally) that the military medically released me. No regrets, it came with a pretty generous "golden parachute". Suffice to say, I'm in pretty decent financial shape until I go into the ground. LIke I said; no regrets. LIfe well lived, injuries well earned in the cause of something bigger than myself, pensioned off with honor and respect.

I've been a "car guy" my whole life. I was that 5 yer old who took Dad's lawn mower apart, but I was also the 5 year old that could put it back together and it would work. Machines are my thing, just comes natural. You can drop a bucket of parts in front of me, not tell me anything about it and I'll put it together and it will work. Everyone has a gift, mine is machines.

I currently have an 83 Mustang in my garage that's in the build up phase:

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IMG_7887.JPG
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I've had it since new and it was bought pretty base because I was young and poor at the time. Hatchback, v6, automatic and the only option it had was a sunroof. It didn't even have a center console between the buckets! Now it's got a 302 5 speed, t-tops, full Maximum motorsports suspension and more than I can list in a Corvette thread! LOL! Suffice to say, it will out-handle the 88 'Vette I just bought. The Mustang is being built with an eye towards autcrossing it.

I also have several bikes. An 89 FJ1200 that's still on the lift being modified and an 83 Yamaha Venture that is now running a full VMax drivetrain. The 'Max is docile to ride, until you hit the throttle and the V-Boost kicks in, great fun! If you can keep it straight and upright that is.The "VentureMax" is another "too much done to list it all" machine:

fr_4001_size880.jpg


But, with retirement came a desire for a nice Sunday driving car for me and the missus to just go for a toot when we felt like it. The Mustang is never going to be that car (wife doesn't like the body-style and too many connections to the ex-wife) and the bikes are never going to be "her thing". She had bikes when she was younger and has just grown out of it. She doesn't mind them and she will ride with me, it's just not her preferred way to travel when it's just us. I want her to enjoy her time with me as much as I do with her, so the bikes were "out".

We looked at lots of cars, some of them were: 77 MGB - was a huge ball o' fun and just a bare bones driving machine, but price wasn't right for what the car was. 68 Mustang convertible - rusted (literally nothing saveable except a couple front fenders) well beyond the point of my wanting to resurrect it. 69 mustang convertible - nice, but priced pretty high, even for a solid runner (and would need an easy 10G to bring it up to my standards) and so on. Most of what we looked at were typical Atlantic Canada overpriced rusted out junk or just plain stupidly overpriced if they were a runner at all. I actually got tired of owners trying to tell me how "rare and valuable" a C-code mustang was. Geez people, it's a c-code mustang. Just about as base a car as you can get without having the straight 6 in it.....SMH.

Then we ran across the 88:

fr_4043_size880.jpg


Well, I'm not a "Vette guy". Heck, I'm not even a GM guy! Ford is my thing and GM's have always been nightmare machines for me, except for one old farm truck (89) that I dragged out of a field and used for snowplowing. That thing just would not die. But despite my incredibly poor track record with GMs, I was willing to have a look......

It was a private sale, even though a dealer had it on his lot. Dealer was doing a favor for a friend. Wanted 13,500.

I almost laughed in his face when he said that!

13,500 is just right out of the ballpark for that car. Heck, it was not even in the parking lot of the ballpark! But we looked at it anyways.

Problems jumped up right away. Brakes - nearly none. Right against the firewall and even then, it only slowed the car, they didn't actually stop it. The test drive was short, on back country roads and I kept far away from intersections or other vehicles. By the end of a test drive, I was stopping the car with the E-brake. Master cylinder was gone, brake fluid had turned jet black from the chewed up seals.
I got it up on a lift and it didn't look too bad. RH muffler was rotted out. The 700 R4 was obviously not original, it's painted a bright Ford blue. RH headlight motor was intermittent and didn't spin the light all the way around. There were several "bodges" under the hood electrically, as someone had run jumper wires from various relays here and there trying to get systems to work as they failed.
The sport seats didn't work, or at least most of the functions didn't work. Wipers only worked on low and "wash". The rear bow release for the top didn't work, you had to reach in and trip the latches manually. Radio worked, but it is a JVC stuffed in with an adapter kit. Speakers were a couple of ancient Alpine 6x9's in boxes shoved in the back of the cargo area. To say they sounded like crap would be generous.

Overall, the car was just....dirty.

There were other small annoyances, but it would take a while to list them all. It's an 88 though, you can't expect it to be perfect.

Had 120,000 kms on it.

RPO codes revealed it was supposed to be a "triple black", so the top had been changed at some point. I don't mind that as the saddle top breaks up the black nicely to my eye.

It's also a Z52 car, the best handling package you could order with a convertible that year. RPO's checked out for everything else. It's a fairly "loaded" car, even for a Vette.

Turns out the owner had several cars in his garage and didn't work on any of them. The Vette he had owned for about 7 years. The first year he put around 1k on the odo, and the next 6 years he only put around another 1,000 K on it. Obviously, the car sat for long periods of time. Not a good sign......

So we haggled a bit. I ended up paying 9 grand for it. Not a screaming deal, but didn't get raped either. I know if you hunt you can get them for less (5-10G seems to be the range), but they're not as common in NS and we liked the car, so we dealt with what we had in front of us. I also was pretty sure most of hte problems with the car, I could fix for very little money.Basically, the cost of replacement parts and a lot of what i saw wrong with the car were things I probably wouldn't even need to buy parts for.

PAid cash, signed the papers, called a flatbed and had it "delivered" to my house......
 
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Tourmax

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So, car safely home in the garage:

fr_4050_size880.jpg


Time to get it "serviceable".

Immediate concern: Brakes.

Called around for a master cylinder and you either couldn't get it or no stock anywhere in Canada. Rockauto to the rescue. It's a Cardone repo, but it's a new one, not rebuilt. Rockauto also provides the muffler, since I was already shipping from the US. Turns out it's a walker quietflow, which is what someone replaced the LH side muffler with already. Was somewhere just over 300 bucks all in.

Muffler goes on easy, I cut the old one off to save the intermediate pipe. Master cylinder goes in almost as easy. A quick bench bleed and in she goes.

That solved, on to some of the "less critical" stuff.

First up: Wipers. Knowing GM had issues with their wiper systems in the 80's, I start "de-snagging" out at the motor. I pull the connector and find this:

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What the f.......?

I pull the jumpered and spliced mess apart and repair the bodge back to original. Once that was done, there was no wiper action at all.

I've had experience with GM's sh**ty pulse wiper boards before. They suffer the same QA problems that most 1980's electronics do. Namely, "Hencho en Mexico". Built by some barely trained SOB on slave labor wages.....you get what you paid for......

I pull the wiper motor cover off and pull the wiper board out of the case. I can't see any cold solder joints under the 10X magnifier, but I re-flow all the joints anyways on spec. Put it back together and now the wipers work as they should. The only catch was now there was no washer function. Probably explains why that pink wire (washer motor power) was spliced into the control wire. I chase down the wiring diagram and can't figure out why the washer worked before and is now dead. After a bit of fooling around and just about read to give up, the washer motor gives a little rumble when I gave one last push on the switch. AH-HA! I pull the switch out of the door, open up the switch housing and there's corrosion/schmutz on the switch contacts. A quick buff and contact spray and the washer is working as per again. Wiper issues: solved! Cost; nada.

Amazing how proper troubleshooting can actually fix a system as opposed to a backyard "fix"........

Then there was this jumper:

fr_4046_size880.jpg


It ran back to the firewall where it grabbed a ground off a fuse. Geez, who was messing with this car?
Turns out it's the "coolant low" circuit. It looks like someone changed the rad at some point (probably rotted out from sitting) and didn't transfer over the sensor. Rather than ordering a new one, they just jumped the circuit to ground so the dash light would go off. Called around and same story as the master cylinder: can't get it or no stock in Canada. Rockauto again, 10 bucks. Repaired the wiring, popped the new one in and all was good again.

Then there was a jumper from the relay on the LH fenderwell to the AC compressor clutch. I check the refrigerant level and the system is flat. Dead empty. I pull the jumper wire they had put on it and jump the low pressure cut out switch to test the system. The clutch engages and everything runs. Since the system was flat, I only ran it a couple seconds to make sure the clutch worked. Most likely, the compressor shaft seal is gone. Not uncommon on the 80's GM's. I used to rebuild compressors for that and the infamous "belly-leaker" issues. I will leave the AC for now (it's always big $$$$ to fix) and address it at a later date. For now, I'm just happy to get rid of that redneck "fix". Since they were probably "forcing" the compressor to run on low charge, I expect the compressor to be fully ruined and needing replacement. I will eventually fix it, but I've got better places to spend that money right now. Besides....it's a convertible! Who needs AC? lol!

Next, I hit upon this:

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furtheluva......

I'm pretty sure "The General" never had a need to run a vacuum line to the bolt of an air tube clamp! After a good sleuthing, it appears the factory looking end on the tee'd line doesn't go anywhere. I have no idea what they were after, but I yank it off and replace the spliced vacuum line to the charcoal canister.

Then I pull out the RH headlight. I fully expect to pull open the motor and find the usual crushed and crumbled nylon bearings/bushings. What i find is mind boggling:

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No, your eyes are not lying to you. That's 3 hex nuts! To make it worse, they had obviously jammed at some point and the nylon gear was split:

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Ugh. Seriously, if you're not going to do something right, then just leave it the bloody heck alone! At this point, I'm seriously wondering what else am I going to find boogered up on this car?

So I order up replacement gears and bushings for both headlight motors. I'll just rebuild them both rather than risk some fool having gotten their hands on them and waiting for it to fail. In the meantime, I needed the light to work for an inspection. I could have just put them up and left them, but that seemed kind of jacked up to me. So I epoxied the gear back together and cut some wood dowels for the bushings. I was going to turn out some delrin bushings on the lathe, but wood dowels were quick, they work and they're not intended to be a permanent fix. The headlight works and got through vehicle inspection. They'll be fine until I get my new parts, especially since this is only a "fair weather" car for day trips at best.

On to the interior. The sport seats were a mess. Sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn't and sometimes they just made grinding noises. I pulled the drivers seat out and went through it. The pump motor was frozen and the diaphragm had left this world a long time ago. A little cleaning and the motor ran fine again. Just frozen in place from lack of use. The diaphram I made from a little bit of rubber sheet I had lying around. Now press the switch and it pumps. Unfortunately, it seems the bladders are ruptured. No biggie, I'll address that later down the road. The seatbolsters and seat back sides don't move at all. Turns out the power wire to the switch was broken off. The rest of the control wires were chaffed through to bare wires and you could see where some of them had been arcing! Not a good thing buried in a seat made of flammable foam! The power wire breaking off was probably a good thing and it broke off clean with the insulation and cut the power to the arcing wires. More wiring repair and it was all responding again. For good measure, I re-route the wiring to a clearer path and fix them to the seat pan to make sure they can't get caught in the mechanisms. A good lubricating and cleaning gets all the motors/tracks/gearboxes working again. The seat track motors and gear boxes just needed a good cleaning, lubricating and run through thier range of travel a couple times.

After that it was a vehicle inspection and off to the DMV for plates. Only thing that went sideways there was the DMV tried to say the car was worth 58 grand for tax purposes! I had a laugh, the girl behind the counter had a laugh and then everyone behind the counter had a laugh. I had expected some "stupidness" from the province regarding taxes, but nothing like this! Luckily, since I've done this dance with them before, I had an appraisal ready to go. They accepted the 5 grand appraisal and I paid taxes on that. They were so floored, they took a screen capture to show the supervisor on Monday, figuring it had to be a mistake in the system. A mistake? I'll say! I could almost buy a 2019 for that much! lol!
 
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Tourmax

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As good as pictures may make it look, the car is a 20 footer at best. The paint has chips and nicks as well as more "swirlies" than the small kids in high school ever saw!

Ok, grab the rotary buffer and went at the hood. After a couple hours of cutting and buffing, it's looks pretty good. It's not perfect, but pretty good. Another round of cutting and buffing should have it back to that deep wet look.

Rock chips are what they are. I touch them up as best I can and just accept it.

The car has been resprayed at least once, as evidenced by the sealant on the body lowers being body color paint.

the body kit is actually a real "Greenwood" kit as opposed to some generic aftermarket kit. Greenwood was a corvette racer in the 70's and he opened a shop to make Corvette parts. Like today's "tuners". they did bodywork, engines, suspensions, etc. This is just a full kit you could order and install. The seller tried to say it was a "dealer installed option", but it's still no different than what the average schmuck could buy and install themselves. No RPO for it, so it's no different than the dealer selling you different rims, floor mats, etc. I'm back and forth on the body kit. Looks a little "ricer" to me, the rear wing being the worst part. But I'm also stuck with it. If I were to pull it off, the paint woudl be different because of the re-spray and the rear fascia woule have holes in the top where the wing is bolted on. Oh well, it could be worse I guess.....
 
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Tourmax

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Ah, audio...audio....audio.

The car came with the UU8 RPO, which is the higher end Bose system.

But the head unti was removed long ago and replaced it with a (now) ancient JVC head unit. The rear Bose speakers turned out to merely be Bose speaker grills. Someone had removed the bose amplified speakers long ago and inserted a couple pioneer 6x9's. to add insult to injury, someone had wrapped a speaker wire around the pioneer speaker cone wires and run out to a couple Alpine 6x9's in separate boxes in the cargo area. I have no idea if the Bose speakers in the doors are still there, I haven't cracked them open yet.

How did it sound?

Well, to be generous, it sounds like crap!

So, on to building an audio system!

By this time, funds are getting tighter. So this needs to be done on a shoestring. That's usually not a good recipe for good sound. But we'll give 'er a try!

First, head unit. Like most people these days, everything is pretty much done on a smartphone for me. So I need something that has some phone connectivity. Back up camera would be good, since backing the Vette up is as much an act of faith as driving skill. Navigation is a given. So off to by to see what the Chinese knockoffs are worth. I settle on this for about 170 bucks (shipped):

s-l1600.jpg




Has all the goodies I want. But, it's a 2 Din radio and the Vette is GM's stupid 1.5 Din. No worries, I've dealt with this before. I order up a used center stack bezel and I'll rework it to hold a 2 din radio. The rest is just figuring out brackets, easy stuff.

Now I needed decent speakers. Budget rules here again. Ebay to the rescue again:

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120 bucks to my door. They're not top end stuff, but they are good enough for my uses. Infinity makes some good stuff and while these are closer to their "bargian" units, they're still miles better than anythingyou'll get at Crappy tire or Best buy for the same coin.

I've never liked the "usual" car audio setups. I've always built more along the lines of SQL. To that end, I usually only build with a "front stage". Meaning, speakers up front only. The reason being, I like it to have a "concert sound". At a concert, the music is all up in front of you, so I don't use rear speakers. The original speaker openings in the back will just get the standard Vette storage covers and that will be that. It's not like you can't make use of some lockable storage in a Vette! LOL!

The rest of the system? Well, I'd really rather not spend any more money on it so into my parts shelves I go. I've got lots of leftover stuff from installing and removing systems over the years. A little rummaging around turns up a pioneer GM6200 amp and a GM3100 amp:

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Again, not top shelf stuff, but good enough....and free!

The 6200 I'll bridge to run the two Infinity's, the 3100 I'll bridge to run a sub.

A little more digging turns up a Sony Xplod 10" sub. Not great, but it worked well enough when i shoved it up on the shelf.

The sub I'll build a custom fiberglass enclosure in a back corner of the cargo area. It's a hideous red and silver sub (made for kids I would say):



so I'll just hide it behind an acoustic fabric cover rather thn having an eyesore back in the cargo area.

The front speakers i'll mount in the doors, but I'll make a fiberglass "blister" for each so I can aim the speakers better than the OEM speakers were. Nohting big, just enough to image the sound properly and not look out of place in the "80's interior". As delivered, the Bose front speakers both pointed directly across the car and down towards the floor. Not the best for imaging.

The rest is just bits and pieces like fuses, terminal blocks, wiring, etc. Most of that I've got lying around as "leftovers" already.....
 

Tourmax

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Time to do some future planning.

The OEM TPI is great for street driving, but it's a known fact that it limits power to the mid 200 hp range. There's really no way around that intake, unless you add boost and I'm not going down that road with this car.

There are lots of aftermarket options, if you can find one used or want to pay 1-2 grand on something. No thank you.

I've actually got 2 complete sets of tpi intakes on the shelf, but there's not a whole lot of sense to doing any work on them. Gains are fairly minuscule for the work you have to put into it. I used to put TPI's on trucks and run them with a 411 PCM, but they were still limited by the basic runner design. Not a big deal in a pickup truck, where you want lots of torque down low. But in a 3200 lb car, you can give up some of that for more RPM (and HP).

So, what do we do?

Fortunately, GM essentially installed a "mini ram" on the LT1. while cruising ebay for the audio stuff, I ran across a complete LT1 intake for 70 bucks:

s-l1600.jpg


Injectors, rails, Egr, etc. All of it, complete. I just couldn't pass it up for 70 bucks.

Now, the LT1 TPI intake doesn't just "bolt on" to an L98, but you can adapt it with a little machine work and then you're good to about the 400 HP range. I'm good with the machine work myself to add the distributor and modfy the mounting holes. Lathe and the mill will make short work of that. Spool gun on the MIG will take care of adding material if I need to. Adding a thermostat housing is a little more difficult, but do able. Or you can go with a remote thermostat housing. 400 hp is more than my Vette will ever make, I just don't want to build for that, too much money. 300 hp crank would be fine by me. Just enough for a good bump up over stock. It would also be much kinder to my 700r4 and dana 28 rear differential.

So maybe a cam and some tuning (I'm more than capable of tuning the ECM) to go with the LT1 intake and she'll be good to go. A little paint and polish and it will look pretty jammy when you lift the hood. I could get a lot wilder with it, but this car is intended to be a driver, not a project so just a little bump over stock will be fine.

:)
 
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Rruuff Day

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Wow.... Great intro Tourmax.You do know your way around a car and have done a lot of much needed work on your new baby. Congrats for entering the world of Corvettes... They become addictive you know.
I'm a displaced bluenoser myself. Been in Alberta for 40 years now but get home every year.
Oh yeah...Welcome to the forum. :thumbs:
 

Darrellg1

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Hello all.

I retired earlier this year from the military. RCAF, Search and Rescue. This was me:

View attachment 29836

That's me in the open door. That's from about ten years ago, we were landing at a friend's cottage near Bouctouche, NB for lunch.

But 29 years of that was enough. It's a young man's game and of the many things I may be, "young" is no longer one of them. I finally got so busted up (physically and entally) that the military medically released me. No regrets, it came with a pretty generous "golden parachute". Suffice to say, I'm in pretty decent financial shape until I go into the ground. LIke I said; no regrets. LIfe well lived, injuries well earned in the cause of something bigger than myself, pensioned off with honor and respect.

I've been a "car guy" my whole life. I was that 5 yer old who took Dad's lawn mower apart, but I was also the 5 year old that could put it back together and it would work. Machines are my thing, just comes natural. You can drop a bucket of parts in front of me, not tell me anything about it and I'll put it together and it will work. Everyone has a gift, mine is machines.

I currently have an 83 Mustang in my garage that's in the build up phase:

View attachment 29838View attachment 29839View attachment 29840

I've had it since new and it was bought pretty base because I was young and poor at the time. Hatchback, v6, automatic and the only option it had was a sunroof. It didn't even have a center console between the buckets! Now it's got a 302 5 speed, t-tops, full Maximum motorsports suspension and more than I can list in a Corvette thread! LOL! Suffice to say, it will out-handle the 88 'Vette I just bought. The Mustang is being built with an eye towards autcrossing it.

I also have several bikes. An 89 FJ1200 that's still on the lift being modified and an 83 Yamaha Venture that is now running a full VMax drivetrain. The 'Max is docile to ride, until you hit the throttle and the V-Boost kicks in, great fun! If you can keep it straight and upright that is.The "VentureMax" is another "too much done to list it all" machine:

View attachment 29841

But, with retirement came a desire for a nice Sunday driving car for me and the missus to just go for a toot when we felt like it. The Mustang is never going to be that car (wife doesn't like the body-style and too many connections to the ex-wife) and the bikes are never going to be "her thing". She had bikes when she was younger and has just grown out of it. She doesn't mind them and she will ride with me, it's just not her preferred way to travel when it's just us. I want her to enjoy her time with me as much as I do with her, so the bikes were "out".

We looked at lots of cars, some of them were: 77 MGB - was a huge ball o' fun and just a bare bones driving machine, but price wasn't right for what the car was. 68 Mustang convertible - rusted (literally nothing saveable except a couple front fenders) well beyond the point of my wanting to resurrect it. 69 mustang convertible - nice, but priced pretty high, even for a solid runner (and would need an easy 10G to bring it up to my standards) and so on. Most of what we looked at were typical Atlantic Canada overpriced rusted out junk or just plain stupidly overpriced if they were a runner at all. I actually got tired of owners trying to tell me how "rare and valuable" a C-code mustang was. Geez people, it's a c-code mustang. Just about as base a car as you can get without having the straight 6 in it.....SMH.

Then we ran across the 88:

View attachment 29837

Well, I'm not a "Vette guy". Heck, I'm not even a GM guy! Ford is my thing and GM's have always been nightmare machines for me, except for one old farm truck (89) that I dragged out of a field and used for snowplowing. That thing just would not die. But despite my incredibly poor track record with GMs, I was willing to have a look......

It was a private sale, even though a dealer had it on his lot. Dealer was doing a favor for a friend. Wanted 13,500.

I almost laughed in his face when he said that!

13,500 is just right out of the ballpark for that car. Heck, it was not even in the parking lot of the ballpark! But we looked at it anyways.

Problems jumped up right away. Brakes - nearly none. Right against the firewall and even then, it only slowed the car, they didn't actually stop it. The test drive was short, on back country roads and I kept far away from intersections or other vehicles. By the end of a test drive, I was stopping the car with the E-brake. Master cylinder was gone, brake fluid had turned jet black from the chewed up seals.
I got it up on a lift and it didn't look too bad. RH muffler was rotted out. The 700 R4 was obviously not original, it's painted a bright Ford blue. RH headlight motor was intermittent and didn't spin the light all the way around. There were several "bodges" under the hood electrically, as someone had run jumper wires from various relays here and there trying to get systems to work as they failed.
The sport seats didn't work, or at least most of the functions didn't work. Wipers only worked on low and "wash". The rear bow release for the top didn't work, you had to reach in and trip the latches manually. Radio worked, but it is a JVC stuffed in with an adapter kit. Speakers were a couple of ancient Alpine 6x9's in boxes shoved in the back of the cargo area. To say they sounded like crap would be generous.

Overall, the car was just....dirty.

There were other small annoyances, but it would take a while to list them all. It's an 88 though, you can't expect it to be perfect.

Had 120,000 kms on it.

RPO codes revealed it was supposed to be a "triple black", so the top had been changed at some point. I don't mind that as the saddle top breaks up the black nicely to my eye.

It's also a Z52 car, the best handling package you could order with a convertible that year. RPO's checked out for everything else. It's a fairly "loaded" car, even for a Vette.

Turns out the owner had several cars in his garage and didn't work on any of them. The Vette he had owned for about 7 years. The first year he put around 1k on the odo, and the next 6 years he only put around another 1,000 K on it. Obviously, the car sat for long periods of time. Not a good sign......

So we haggled a bit. I ended up paying 9 grand for it. Not a screaming deal, but didn't get raped either. I know if you hunt you can get them for less (5-10G seems to be the range), but they're not as common in NS and we liked the car, so we dealt with what we had in front of us. I also was pretty sure most of hte problems with the car, I could fix for very little money.Basically, the cost of replacement parts and a lot of what i saw wrong with the car were things I probably wouldn't even need to buy parts for.

PAid cash, signed the papers, called a flatbed and had it "delivered" to my house......
Hey Tourmax
Welcome to our little corner of sometimes self induced heaven lol.
Thanks for your service.
I myself have an 87 Z51 Auto coupe and a 91 Mustang notchback.

I too am ex CAF, being an AE511 (Aero Engine)and got out in 91. I was in Shearwater working on the Sea Kings. That was after I re-mustered. I was a Naval Weapons Tech to begin with..
We had our air detachment on the Athabaskan.
We used to joke about the SSKAD kits having freeze dried SAR Techs.....as soon as salt water hit your guys belly buttons, you all hydrated up, became sentient, and saved lives lol.
SSKAD= (S)ea (S)urvival (K)it (A)ir (D)ropable.

Welcome to Civie Street bro.
 
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nascar03

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@Tourmax
Welcome to the CCForums.
What a great introduction essay! You win.
An enjoyable read...

Graham
 

ddgermann

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Welcome aboard @Tourmax

Yes you win the introduction award hands down.

Should be worth about 10,000 Vette Coins. I got no control over that though. Nik’s bots dole them out and I’m not sure Nik can actually control the bots anymore...

Great story and with your skills you will soon have a GM product that I expect will be very enjoyable.

Excellent practical work you are doing while proving owning a corvette is not necessarily a money pit if you start off with solid basics.

Well done 👍

Look forward to further details on your progress. Now at least you can enjoy the car.
 

Tourmax

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Hey Tourmax
Welcome to our little corner of sometimes self induced heaven lol.
Thanks for your service.
I myself have an 87 Z51 Auto coupe and a 91 Mustang notchback.

I too am ex CAF, being an AE511 (Aero Engine)and got out in 91. I was in Shearwater working on the Sea Kings. That was after I re-mustered. I was a Naval Weapons Tech to begin with..
We had our air detachment on the Athabaskan.
We used to joke about the SSKAD kits having freeze dried SAR Techs.....as soon as salt water hit your guys belly buttons, you all hydrated up, became sentient, and saved lives lol.
SSKAD= (S)ea (S)urvival (K)it (A)ir (D)ropable.

Welcome to Civie Street bro.
512>>>>>>>091.

;)
 

Tourmax

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Ordered a set of these:



Gas filler panel and nose emblems. After 31 years, the ones on the car have suffered the usual sun fade and plastic crazing.

It's always amazed me how a couple new emblems freshen up an older car. It just makes the car look crisp and new again.

I also "repaired" the drivers door panel top pad. The pad is vinyl wrapped foam over a plastic backer board. Over the years, it had separated from the backer board and started curling off on both sides.

Adding insult to injury, someone had tried to remove it, not knowing there were three plastic posts with speed nuts on the inside of the door. They ended up just snapping them off. Their solution was to try contact cement to reattach the door pad. It just ended up being a huge mess.

I price out replacements. Has to come out of the 'States again. Big surprise there. But the price! It woudl be somewhere around 800 CAD once I got them here. No, no no. That won't do. Time to put some upholstery skills to work.

step one: fix the pad. I take the pad and use some strategically placed dots of "krazy glue" to re-attach the pad to the backer board. But the instant glue is only intended to hold it temporarily. Krazy glue will eventually fail, so I use some E6000 glue to finish attaching and sealing the pad to the backer board. Then I wrap the entire pad with painters tape to hold it in the right shape until it dries. I set it aside for the night to dry.

The next day, pull the tape off and the pad is nearly perfect. Happy with that, I will need a way to attach it to the door panel again. Plan is to make "keyhole slots" and use a couple bolts to replace the plastic studs.

But before I get that done, the missus and I decide to pop out for breakfast. I didn't want to drive around missing that pad (makes the car look junky) so I cleaned off the old, brittle contact cement and cut myslef a strip of 3m double sided molding tape. Works fine and holds the pad in place. I'll still need to pull it off again and get it attached properly, but there are a few other things that I need to address (like the killer knock when the engine is loafing along) before going back to the upholstery....
 
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Tourmax

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Ran across this on ebay:

1.jpg
3.jpg


53mm throttle body. Not really anything special, it's just an OEM TB bored out to 52mm from 48mm.

I ran across it a couple days ago with an opening bid of 99 usd. For laughs as much as anythingelse, I chucked a minimum bid on it. Got an email earlier today I had won. I figured it would surely go for more than the minimum asking bid. Oh well, guess I'll have to figure out something to do with it......
 

Tourmax

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That was a nice pick. Somehow, I suspect you won't have much trouble doing something with it... LOL
Yep, got my first plans for it all laid out already: Blow it apartinto little pieces and drop it all into the ultrasonic bath.

Then; polish, polish, polish and drop this on the top:



Then it may sit on the shelf for a year or two while I build up the LT1 manifold.....;)
 

Tourmax

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Car has had a pretty bad knock issue with light throttle since the day we bought it. After a full tank of Shell 93, bad gas was ruled out and it would still knock like crazy with light throttle and higher gears. It knocked so badly it was either get your foot right out of it or you needed to get into it enough to make the 700R4 shift down.

Well, that just wont do. This car is intended to be used as a "GT" (ie: grand touring) car, so we needed it to be able to loaf along at light throttle openings.

Having images of breaking down that horrendous TPI intake to get to the EGR ports to clean out the passages and the EGR valve pintle, I looked around a bit more before tearing into it.

The knock sensor is hooked up and there's no active or stored codes. But the blade connector is pretty cruddy. Knowing how an knock sensor works (generates a small current when it "knocks" which is read by the ECM) and that higher than normal resistance in a circuit can effect operations, I pulled the connector and polished up the terminals. Simple, easy, costs nothing so why not?

Then I pulled the MAF and gave it a good cleaning with some MAF cleaner. A PO had put a K&N in the car so it's not unreasonable to think that the MAF would have a coating of oil and general schmutz on it. This is a problem as the MAF works on heating a wire, which is cooled by the airflow. The ECM reads how much current is required to heat the wire to know how many Grams of air are being consumed. The coating on the MAF wire essentially "insulates" the MAF, which means the ECM gets the wrong current reading. Consequently, the ECM schedules the wrong fuel and spark. With the ECM readng wrong, less fuel and spark leads to a lean condition and knock is often the result. Cost 10 bucks for a can of cleaner, so it's also cheap and easy. Just make sure you remove the MAF when cleaning. Maf cleaner and electricity doesn't play well together. Also, you need to let the MAF completely dry before reinstalling it. Count on letting it sit a good 15-30 mins before putting it back in. To cean the MAF, you need to really soak down the sensor. I used nearly an entire can on mine, over multiple cleaning sessions. Took me about 1.5 hrs before I was satisfied it was as clean as I could get it.

Lastly, the car had been sitting most of it's life and drives had been short and quick. Very easy to build up carbon in the intake and cylinders. So, as much as I don't like "mechanic in a can" solutions, I dumped a can of seafoam in the tank and then ran a can of Seafoam through the intake via a vacuum port. Well, Ive seen top end cleaners make smoke before, but this was simply EPIC. No doubt in my mind that years of short, go nowhere trips had choked up everything that dealt with combustion gases on this poor little L98. After choking the engine down to stall and letting it sit for 1/2 hr, I took it for a nice long drive. Man, it must have taken a good 10 miles before the engine finally stopped smoking like the rings were fried.

But now; no smoke, no rattling and most importantly - no knock!

I can still FORCE it into an almost undetectable knock if I lug it very badly, but that's not unusual in those conditions. Either way, I seem to have gotten whatever was causing the knock condition in normal operations. Now it's just a matter of making sure the car goes for a good 20-odd minutes on each drive (with some high speed/highway work) to keep it good and clean inside, as well as continue to clean out what is left in there. MAchines don't like to sit or be lightly used, they want to RUN.....

This winter, when the car goes into long term storage, I'll still pull the intake off and give the passages a good, deep cleaning. I'd like to say the TPI will stay off and the LT1 intake will go on, but I just can't see it being done and up to my standards before next spring......;)
 
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